YSU names endowed chair to study aging

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This appointment is even more meaningful for the Mahoning Valley because of its aging population

Daniel Van Dussen, professor of Gerontology at Youngstown State University, named the first YSU DePizzo Endowed Chair in Gerontology

Credit: YSU

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown State University named its first DePizzo Endowed Chair in Gerontology.

Daniel Van Dussen, professor of Gerontology, will hold the position made possible through a $1.65 million donation to YSU by John “Jack” and Nuggie DePizzo, who owned and operated more than 30 senior care facilities across the Youngstown region and who now continue to develop and operate in Southwest Florida.

This appointment is even more meaningful for the Mahoning Valley because of its aging population. Ohio’s senior population, as a whole, it getting older with 17% of residents aged 65 or older.

Mahoning County hit some alarming numbers during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic due, in part, to its large number of elderly residents.

Both Ohio and Pennsylvania are among the top 10 states in population of older adults.

With this new appointment at YSU, more expanded research on aging populations, the services they need, and outcomes for communities will be studied and researched by students.

“This endowed chair further elevates the academic reputation of our Department of Health Professions, the Bitonte College of Health and Human Services and Youngstown State University,” Allen said. “Most importantly, it gives students the opportunity to work side-by-side with top researchers.”

Van Dussen holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Mount Union, a master’s in Sociology from the University of Akron and a Ph.D. in Gerontology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. He joined the YSU faculty in 2006 and founded the Gerontology major and master’s in Gerontology programs. He is the author of several scholarly articles on topics ranging from attitudes about end-of-life care to patients’ willingness to use pain medication.

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